Jump to content


Photo

recording


60 replies to this topic

#1 Colin

Colin

    Shizz Captain

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,857 posts
  • Location:Somerville, MA

Posted 04 February 2005 - 06:06 AM

I can't remember who I've said this to, but I thnk there needs to be a compliment to guitarra, an undying thread for recording. So here's my attempt to start one.

My current setup leaves a lot to be desired. The practice space that I was sharing was stocked with a miked drum set, big ass mixer, MOTU 828mkII, usuable guitar and bass amps, and lots of other stuff, That's no longer available to me, so I'm back to having mediocre to bad amps with no line-in, an SM57, XLR to 1/4" adaptor, 1/4" to 1/8" adaptor, and a SB Audigy 2 sound card. I think the best way to upgrade this setup in the short term is to get an external firewire or USB interface that bypasses the adaptors and the soundcard. While it would be really nice to have a MOTU unit, I think it makes more sense to get something in the $100-150 range now, and upgrade to a nicer system later, when I have better amps and mics.

So, what I need is advice on the low-end audio interfaces. Right now, I'm comparing the following:
-Tascam US-122 - USB, 2 inputs (2 XLR or 2 1/4") - new $200, hoping to find one used for under $150 (I saw one on craigslist for $120 about 2 weeks ago but was too gunshy)
-M-Audio Firewire Solo - Firewire, 2 inputs (1 XLR, 1 1/4") - new $200, a little harder to find used
-M-Audio MobilePre USB - USB, 2 inputs (2 XLR or 2 1/4") - new $150, there doesn't seem to be much of a used/discount market, but I bet I can score one for about $100.

Right now the Tascam is in the lead a bit, for the simple reason that Woody has one and I know it's fairly easy to use and works well. What I don't know is what kind of features other than the inputs that I should look for, and testimonials from people who have used them. I spent some time searching for porduct reviews yesterday, but was only able to find a couple on zzounds.com. Who can wager an opinion? Virt?

Also, if anyone else has any recording inquiries, tips, etc, post them here.
  • 0

#2 raubhimself

raubhimself

    CHAOS SPECIALIST

  • Shizzadmin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 35,419 posts
  • Location:Phoenix, AZ

Posted 04 February 2005 - 06:25 AM

Colin, is your Audigy 2 the Platinum with the front panel interface?
I've had one for awhile now, but there are a few things I can't figure out, like getting the guitar sound to come out of the speakers without latency when I record.
  • 0
sanitize.deodorize.pulverize
MINIBOSSIES NEVAR SAY DIE!
Good-Evil.net
 

'the smuggest amongst us will always be the quickest to point out the most minor transgressions of others around them'- a quote i just made up and put quotes around to make it seem slightly fancier


#3 Ashane

Ashane

    Shizz Master Zero

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,160 posts

Posted 04 February 2005 - 06:46 AM

Since it seems like you're looking for something cheap, here's my advice, Colin:

Get an Audiophile 2496. They're incredibly cheap cards that record crystal clear. I realize that you're looking for an audio interface, but a mixer is a simple solution. Here's my setup (might as well list everything):

Computer:
Intel Pentium 4 2.6gHz processor
DDR SDRAM 512MB

Sound card:
M-Audio Audiophile 2496 (Stereo RCA In/Out, S/PDIF In/Out, MIDI In/Out)

Mixer:
Behringer Eurorack UB802 (2 XLR, 2 mono 1/4", 2 stereo 1/4")

Mics:
Shure SM57
AKG C1000S

I have the RCA out of the mixer going into the sound card, then the sound card's RCA out going into the mixer's RCA in. The mixer has decent mic preamps and phantom power, and I can monitor everything from it. Unless you're going to get a nice audio interface like the MOTU 828mkII or the Echo Layla, then I say don't bother. I got my Audiophile and UB802 at Guitar Center new for $120. It's really a kickass setup for so little. You could probably get it $150 new.
  • 0

#4 Colin

Colin

    Shizz Captain

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,857 posts
  • Location:Somerville, MA

Posted 04 February 2005 - 06:59 AM

Colin, is your Audigy 2 the Platinum with the front panel interface?
I've had one for awhile now, but there are a few things I can't figure out, like getting the guitar sound to come out of the speakers without latency when I record.

No front panel on mine. I didn't research sound cards enough when I bought my PC in the fall, which is sort of why I'm here now. Dumb.

Ashane, if I can get that setup for $150 total, that would be great actually. I was looking at the 2496 firewire interface (as opposed to PCI card), but I balked because it retails for $160, then I would have to spring for a mixer as well. I didn't even think that the PCI version would be that much cheaper. I will look into that today.

By the way, my PC is a P4 3.0 GHz with 1GB of RAM and tons of USB and firewire ports, so that shouldn't need to be upgraded anytime soon.
  • 0

#5 Zoast

Zoast

    Shizz JediMaster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,855 posts
  • Location:Chattanooooga, TN

Posted 04 February 2005 - 07:09 AM

are you going to be miking drums?

From reading the conservatory here and there, i dont think v likes m-audio. I have a m-audio card myself from a few years back, and it does the job pretty well. The one I have has a similar breakout box, but also came with a soundcard (delta66?) it attaches to. See, the two line ins on mine can be used as inputs #3 and 4, if you have 2 more channels of pre-amp. If either of those 2 can do that (I dont think so), and you are recording drums, I would get that one.

Hmm, I looked at the manuals breifly, and it looks like the tascam can do this, but they tell you its not recommended because it sums the two signals (line-in + xlr)...that wont help with drums because your will be panning your two overhead mics left and right, and that would make you also pan your snare mic and bass drum mic left and right. I couldnt find anything quickly about the m-audio one, but I suspect the same or less.
If I read right, the tascam supports up to 24bit sampling, and the m-audio 16bit, but in my opinion, 24 bit is a little useless for your purposes (no fancy mics, or recording spaces, limited inputs for drums). The midi input is nice on the tascam, but I dont think you use midi, do you? as far as features go, I dont think theres too much to look for in your case... both have phantom power, which I use (a condenser i mean) mainly for overheads and recording acoustics...(I dont know much about micing bass cabs tho, bc i run a linein from my buddies amp. I thought dynamics were mainly used, but totally not sure.).... both have 2 inputs, both are limited to usb's transfer rates I suppose? (it advises you in the manual to remove addition usb devices)

I would be most concerned with the quality of a/d converters and preamp, and overall sturdiness.. unfortunately, that pretty hard to judge without buying the damned thing first. I would be suprised if there was a huge difference in quality, myself, but thats just my suspicion. If woodys works well, I would be tempted to go with that, the solid bet, in your shoes. It does look slightly sturdier than the maudio one on first glance.
But then on the other hand you could be paying 50 more dollars for a 24 bit sampling and a midi input which you dont need. Sorry i cant help more.
  • 0
.\|/.

#6 Norrin_Radd

Norrin_Radd

    The Boob Whisperer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,117 posts
  • Location:BC, Canada

Posted 04 February 2005 - 07:12 AM

If you are going to be miking anything 24 bit audio is going to sound noticably better.
  • 0

NorrinRadd22 at gmail dot com
https://twitter.com/Norrin_Radd22
http://mattcreameraudio.com/
Matt Creamer on Facebook


#7 Zoast

Zoast

    Shizz JediMaster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,855 posts
  • Location:Chattanooooga, TN

Posted 04 February 2005 - 07:13 AM

Unless you're going to get a nice audio interface like the MOTU 828mkII or the Echo Layla, then I say don't bother.

it really is a good point. Even with having 4 inputs, it is still a pain not to be able to mic the drums more thoroughly.

Plus, his suggestion gets rid of the usb limitation, and adds an eq i suppose? I wonder if you would try to keep your sblaster in there, or if there would be any conflicts if so?
  • 0
.\|/.

#8 Shervz0r

Shervz0r

    Shizz Z0r

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,471 posts
  • Location:hep

Posted 04 February 2005 - 07:47 AM

At what point do you encounter diminishing returns with increasing the sampling bitrate?

Thanks for starting this, C. This thread is incredibly useful for me, since the most I've only recorded my synth on the computer, and that seemed to sound decent as it was....but I've been inclined to start messing around with my guitar and was wondering what hardware exists
  • 0

#9 Ashane

Ashane

    Shizz Master Zero

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,160 posts

Posted 04 February 2005 - 08:04 AM

He can leave his Audigy2 in and it'll be fine.
  • 0

#10 Zoast

Zoast

    Shizz JediMaster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,855 posts
  • Location:Chattanooooga, TN

Posted 04 February 2005 - 08:12 AM

At what point do you encounter diminishing returns with increasing the sampling bitrate?

this came up first.. I've read this guys page before... its pretty good.

http://www.tweakhead...4_bit_audio.htm

"Should you record at 24 bits?" is where it gets to the point.

Damn, and a nerdy back and forth forum discussion linked from there also http://studio-centra...ght=24bit 16bit hehe


I dont think I have enough hard drive space for it to be worth doing more than 16. :(
My new slave drive (8mb buffer 200gb barracuda) is skipping when I play back wavs from it in cubase, or maybe I would try it. Does anyone have any suggestions for this problem? My master is a 40giger. Doh.
  • 0
.\|/.

#11 raubhimself

raubhimself

    CHAOS SPECIALIST

  • Shizzadmin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 35,419 posts
  • Location:Phoenix, AZ

Posted 04 February 2005 - 08:31 AM

My new slave drive (8mb buffer 200gb barracuda) is skipping when I play back wavs from it in cubase, or maybe I would try it. Does anyone have any suggestions for this problem? My master is a 40giger. Doh.

So the WAVs themselves skip? I've had trouble with Cubase making WAVs sound like ass at anything other than 44KHz, I can't remember if I used 16 or 24 bit though.
  • 0
sanitize.deodorize.pulverize
MINIBOSSIES NEVAR SAY DIE!
Good-Evil.net
 

'the smuggest amongst us will always be the quickest to point out the most minor transgressions of others around them'- a quote i just made up and put quotes around to make it seem slightly fancier


#12 Zoast

Zoast

    Shizz JediMaster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,855 posts
  • Location:Chattanooooga, TN

Posted 04 February 2005 - 08:39 AM

Well, I can tell you that when playing back .wavs in cubas.. every 3-4 seconds the output will scramble. Im not sure if it actually skips (I havent really tried recording on top of it, because it hurts my fucking ears to listen to it), but it sure sounds like it. Its odd, because it happens that way playing back mp3s in winamp too (to a lesser extent). But then it has no problem recording all 4 inputs at once, and I bet if i moved them to another hd that they would play back fine, because the waveform looks fine, just the playback is messed up.

Im pretty sure my partitions are 140 and 60 gb, but i cant remember exactly... I was told its not my partition size by my friend, who Im 99% sure will be right.

The only thing I can think could be the problem: I didnt have anywhere to mount the drive, so its basically hanging (behind my other drive, which is also mounted vertically with the top (or bottom) of it laying flat against the front panel of my tower. There was maybe some room to mount it inbetween, but I think there are some vents in the front of the case there... and it is virtually impossible to disassemble the mount brackets... which I tried to do when I got the hard drive. (there are screws with their heads facing the nonaccesible side of the case)

Its in a pretty steady spot though... theres no much room for it to run, as the ide cable from the master to slave is short. And it seems to be sitting exactly vertical... could a lean cause this?

I got the hd from newegg.. OEM. I hope shipping didnt cause the problem. hmmm
  • 0
.\|/.

#13 Ashane

Ashane

    Shizz Master Zero

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,160 posts

Posted 04 February 2005 - 09:14 AM

I'm not positive, Zoast, but you could just be experiencing audio dropouts. Dropouts are just basically losses of audio signal during playback. The cause of this generally is insufficient RAM. I get dropouts, but I can tolerate them usually. If it's really bad for you, you should consider closing all other programs. If that doesn't work, it's probably time to upgrade your RAM.
  • 0

#14 Zoast

Zoast

    Shizz JediMaster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,855 posts
  • Location:Chattanooooga, TN

Posted 04 February 2005 - 09:24 AM

I just added another gig (2x512) of corsair ram when I bought the hard drive. I have 1.5gb now. Im sorry I didnt mention that... I appreciate the reply reguardless.

I did have that problem sometimes with a few of the big dod entries I did... contra 3 was the worst offender I can think of.
  • 0
.\|/.

#15 Guest_zmetallica_*

Guest_zmetallica_*
  • Guests

Posted 04 February 2005 - 10:18 AM

Ashane, if I can get that setup for $150 total, that would be great actually. I was looking at the 2496 firewire interface (as opposed to PCI card), but I balked because it retails for $160, then I would have to spring for a mixer as well. I didn't even think that the PCI version would be that much cheaper. I will look into that today.

i got an audiophile card if you want it. but its an older one the drivers are only for pre winme or something? but it works fine :) i can sell it real cheap to you. i doubt it'll work with your OS though, unless you can find drivers for it. i won't be using it anyway. since i'm upgrading my system to exactly how urs is configured, well maybe a bit better since i'll be doing it over the summer.
firewire is the way to go now adays though.

also i've noticed that my comp skips alot too. i don't think its cause of the need of MORE ram, i think its cause its bad ram. but i could be wrong. i have 640MB ram right now. but when the wav skips so does the rest of the comp. i dont' even have to be doing too much at once.
i know when i'm doing audio work and it 'skips' its definately the need for more ram. mainly cause it doesn't like a different kind of skip. its more slight and when i bounce the audio to an mp3 it isn't there. it could also be a slow CPU (1.4ghz).

after my comp upgrade i plan on making a 24/192khz rig. it'll be expensive (6grand) but well worth it and i plan on buying the pieces slowly.
  • 0



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users